Does this hotel have free FlankSpeed? Dad, the DragonFly is slow again! It may sound odd, but these terms were actually two of the names originally given to wireless internet before the term Wi-Fi was adopted. Thank the Internet Gods that they didn’t stick!
It’s a fact that Wi-Fi has re-shaped the way that we work, study and interact with each other around the world. We use Wi-Fi so frequently that many of us don’t give it a second thought anymore. But the technology and the story behind this now vital everyday tool is amazing. Here are 19 awesome facts about Wi-Fi that you probably didn’t know.
- It may seem like only yesterday we were all dialling in for our connection, but wireless internet was actually founded in September 1990! Wi-Fi is only a few years away from its 30th birthday – feeling old yet?!
- With a whopping 71% of mobile communications flowing over wireless internet, Wi-Fi is now the biggest transmitter of communications around the world.
- Previous names for Wi-Fi were WaveLAN, FlankSpeed, DragonFly, WECA and IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence, before the more consumer friendly name of Wi-Fi was adopted.
- Interbrand invented the term “Wi-Fi” as a play on words of the term “Hi-Fi” or “High Fidelity”. However, Wi-Fi doesn’t actually stand for anything. What added to the confusion was the Wi-Fi Alliance’s use of a nonsense advertising slogan, “The Standard for Wireless Fidelity,” which lead many people to think that Wi-Fi was an abbreviation of “Wireless Fidelity”.
- With the global average internet speed sitting at 5.6Mbps, South Korea is storming ahead as the fastest country in the world with an average internet speed of 26.7Mbps!
- Wi-Fi signals generally emit from your router in a doughnut shape. What a tasty thought.
- 5GHz Wi-Fi actually starts at around 4.9GHz and goes all the way to 5.7GHz – this can vary widely between different regions due to what frequencies are allowed.
- Ethernet – the most commonly used wired network standard – was invented almost half a century ago in the early 1970’s, by Bob Metcalfe.
- In the early days of computer networking, coaxial cables were used, the same type of cabling that is commonly used for cable or satellite TV today.
- In 1992, Vinton G. Cerf, VP, known as the “Father of the Internet,” first predicted that IP would appear on everything. He also wore a controversial T-shirt with the phrase, which apparently caused quite the stir at the time!
- You may have only heard it recently, but the term Internet of Things (IoT) has actually been around for almost 20 years! It was first coined in 1999 by Kevin Ashton, a British visionary and engineer
- In 2016 there was approximately 7 billion people living on the planet, and over 23 billion devices connected to the Internet – that’s an average of 3 devices per person.
- By 2020 it is estimated there will be over 50 billion Wi-Fi connected devices worldwide being used by 7.8 billion people – over doubling the amount of average devices per person!
- In 2016 over 15 billion Wi-Fi connected devices were shipped across the globe! That’s a lot of tech!
- Some of the strangest Wi-Fi connected devices now include Walking Sticks, Umbrellas, Shirts, Water Bottles, Tails (for festival goers) and Cutlery. We’ve left the really odd items off this list!
- 90% of consumers are being driven towards the connected smart home trend by better security for their homes and families.
- There are currently around 150 million smart homes worldwide – it won’t be long before Wi-Fi connected homes are the norm.
- Wi-Fi connected thermostats, with their money-saving and environmentally-conscious features, top the consumer wish list of Smart Home desires
- Right now 3.7 billion people are using the Internet – that’s over half the world’s population connected to the world wide web just like you are.
So there you have it, 19 little-known Wi-Fi facts you can now use to show-off to your friends! Wi-Fi has already changed the world so much over the past 3 decades — we look forward to seeing where it will take us next.